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Heidi

TV review by
Jenny Nixon, Common Sense Media
Heidi TV Poster Image
Animated take on classic tale is full of positivity.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Heidi's life hasn't been easy, but she maintains a cheerful disposition that inspires those around her to follow suit.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heidi is a beacon of hope who charms and comforts nearly everyone she meets, especially her lonely and withdrawn grump of a grandfather. She's kind to animals, even those others consider to be pests -- like the mouse she meets on a train to the Alps.

Violence & Scariness

Heidi's grandfather is initially very brusque and grumpy -- she meets him as he's chopping wood and he looks very angry while brandishing an ax. Some verbal teasing and bullying from other kid characters, nothing too extreme.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Heidi is a 3D-animated version of the classic children's tale written by Johanna Spyri. Heidi is an orphan, which means the story touches on themes like loneliness, family, and belonging. Her grandfather's gruff demeanor may be off-putting to younger kids at first, but Heidi's joyfulness is infectious and overtakes any occasional moments of gloom.

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What's the story?

HEIDI is a sweet-natured young orphan girl of five who has been raised thus far by her Aunt Dete, and life in town is all she knows. When her aunt takes a job in Frankfurt where Heidi cannot join, she is left in the care of her cantankerous grandfather, the town grump who lives in near-isolation in a cabin above the rural town of Dorfli in the Swiss Alps. Heidi's bubbly spirit and warm heart soon chip away at the old man's brittle exterior, and they find an easy comfort in one another's company. But when Heidi's remorseful aunt returns to bring her along to Frankfurt to serve as a sort of live-in companion for a sickly child with a stern governess who mistreats her, Heidi and her grandfather will both have to figure out where they each belong, and the true meaning of home.

Is it any good?

It's a familiar tale by now, and this new version hits all the expected beats -- but the idyllic, colorfully-animated landscapes and big-eyed look of the characters have a lot of warmth and charm. Heidi deals with some potentially heavy topics like homesickness, bullying, and even death, but does so in a way that doesn't feel too harsh or adult; the fact that the show is broken up into smaller chunks also means kids have time to process these feelings and pace themselves between episodes. Its overall tone, though, is whimsical and happy, and Heidi's ability to look for the good in every situation is a great one for families to talk about post-viewing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Heidi adapts to the different living conditions she experiences, and the different people she meets along the way. How does her positive attitude help get her through tough situations? 

  • The story of Heidi takes place in 19th Century Europe. What are some ways life then was different for kids than it is now? 

TV details

  • Premiere date: January 11, 2015
  • Network: Kids Central
  • Genre: Kids' Animation
  • TV rating: NR
  • Available on: Streaming
  • Last updated: July 22, 2019

For kids who love classic stories

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